Ness City, Kansas

The towns here have a friendly feel, and despite there being apparently nothing to do all day except talk about the weather, I could see myself retiring to a small farming town in central Kansas someday. Everyone we meet was either born here or born in the next town. The drivers all pass bicyclists with caution and a smile. The only constant antagonist is the wind, which blows ever north across the plains.

Ness City was only a grain elevator on the horizon this afternoon, but Steve and I are very happy to have arrived. We ate a late dinner at the bowling alley, a cheeseburger and a beer. The high school football team was having a party, and the place was packed.

Yesterday we stayed at the city park in Scott City. We didn’t have a chance to really investigate the town, but the main road was full of small businesses and houses. The largest stores in Kansas have been the John Deere dealerships. The tractors out here are like nothing I’ve seen: six and eight and ten wheeled monsters with all sorts of blades and machinery hanging off the back. And they are twenty feet tall, with tinted windows and leather bucket seats. More than once I’ve seen a farmer high above the rows of corn on his cell phone, doing whatever it is they do with those giant John Deere tractors. It sure beats driving a donkey and a plow.